Tag Archives: destiny

Nathan Petrelli Controls Worlds

This post contains spoilers from the second season finale of Heroes.

I have a secret theory about Nathan Petrelli on Heroes. I think his ability extends beyond the power of flight.

Let’s see what Nathan has going for him:

  • He can fly, and seems to have better control over his abilities than anyone else in the series (with the possible exception of Micah Sanders).
  • He’s the son of two Company founders.
  • He’s brother to Peter Petrelli, ostensibly the most powerful evolved human in the series.
  • He has at least one child with abilities (Claire).
  • In one version of the future, he actually did become president of the United States (although Sylar secretly took his place at some point).
  • In both Season One and Season Two, at the climactic moment of the finale, in the instant where the fate of humanity hung in the balance, he took action that saved the world.
  • Both times that Nathan was the lynch pin in saving the world, he played that role when other characters had been to the future, and seen that we were doomed. He changed the course of a future that had already been independently verified.
  • The Company chose him to save the world after the impending destruction of New York City (as the strong leader who could unite the country).

The final two points are perhaps the most important. There’s something special about Nathan. The Company could have chosen anyone to be their front-man in the Oval Office, but they chose him. They went as far as telling him that it was his destiny. Sure, he had a bit of legacy with his parents being company founders, but he didn’t receive any special training, and his self-propelled flight certainly doesn’t help him lead any better.

So why did they choose Nathan? And why was Nathan a necessary ingredient to save the world in both seasons? I think there’s an unspoken subtext to his character, which is that he has the ability to change destinies. It sounds a bit campy, but if you think about the influence he has had, and the way the Company planned to use his influence, it makes sense. And the power to alter destiny is similar to the ability to overcome gravity, if our destiny is in fact to be bound to the Earth. It’s certainly not any more far-fetched than Maya’s “poison emission” ability, and this wouldn’t be the first time that a hero who can fly is shown to have the power to change the future.

Kristen tells me that this theory is “too thinky for prime-time drama”, and the fact that Nathan was shot multiple times in the finale does not bode well for an expansion on his abilities, but I think my interpretation fleshes things out nicely because it allows the timelines of the series to be internally consistent. I’m hoping he’ll make a miraculous comeback (hey – I’d definitely prefer to see him come back rather than Noah Bennet) and I’m looking forward to the next chapter.


Posted by on December 10, 2007 in Entertainment


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An Uncommon Dialogue

The book “Conversations with God” by Neale Donald Walsch tells the story of its author, who one day in an epiphany of frustration with life wrote all of his questions about things that bothered him down on a yellow legal pad. To his surprise, God answered with words whispered into his ear by a “Voiceless Voice”, which Walsch faithfully transcribed onto said legal pad. I read this account (or one-third of it… the account is actually a trilogy) about eight years ago, and questions about the veracity of the experience aside, it had a big impact on me. Somewhere in the book, Walsch (stenographing for God) writes:

So go ahead now. Ask Me anything. Anything. I will contrive to bring you the answer. The whole universe will I use to do this. So be on the lookout. This book is far from My only tool. You may ask a question, then put this book down. But watch. Listen. The words to the next song you hear. The information in the next article you read. The story line of the next movie you watch. The chance utterance of the next person you meet. Or the whisper of the next river, the next ocean, the next breeze that caresses your ear—all these devices are Mine; all these avenues are open to Me. I will speak to you if you will listen. I will come to you if you will invite Me. I will show you then that I have always been there. All ways.

This sort of idea appears frequently in the book — “the answers are there, you just have to look for them.” I took a lot of those messages to heart, to the point where I was constantly looking for “signs” in my life. Sometimes the more coincidental an event was, the more likely it was for me to interpret it as a signal that I was doing something right. Small world phenomena drove me crazy (“I just ran into Jill’s brother’s girlfriend on the subway in D.C. — that can’t be just a coincidence, it must mean something!”). I let the movement of the world around me be my indicator of whether I was doing things right.

But sometimes we do everything right and things still don’t turn out how we hope, even when the 8-ball tells us so plainly that the “signs point to yes”. At some point I realized that I had taken the philosophy of looking for answers too far, and now I try to enjoy a balance of marvel at coincidence (“If I hadn’t come to get coffee with you, I never would have realized that I dropped my keys outside the front door to my building! And I hate coffee!”) and passive skepticism (“It’s probably just a coincidence that ‘Unwritten’ came on the radio while I was working on my memoirs.”) about the signs along my path.

Coincidentally, I seem to have lost my copy of “Conversations with God”. I must be doing something right.

“Conversations with God” was recently released as a motion picture ( , though it didn’t make it into many cities.


Posted by on November 20, 2006 in Garbage In, Garbage Out


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